Re: Dr. Lawe’s response to Adrian Dix’s health care plan for Nelson
On behalf of Edward Morritt’s family, we commend Adrian Dix for standing up to the Liberal government and stating that Kootenay Lake Hospital needs their surgeons back with a fully functioning ICU. If these vital services were around on March 22 and 23, 2004 Mr. Morritt might still be alive. However, due to the Liberal cutbacks some 10 years ago, Mr. Morritt lost his life due to a ruptured spleen prior to getting the surgery he so desperately needed.
At that time, ultrasound facilities were available in Nelson, however the technicians were not on call after hours (cutbacks) and there certainly were no surgeons available in Nelson as their positions were relocated to Trail.
Therefore, we take offence to Dr. Lawe’s statement that “there has not been a single incidence of patient morbidity and mortality that can be attributed to a delay in receiving appropriate surgical care since regionalization of services.” Mr. Morritt never did have his “golden hour of opportunity” as there were many hurdles for the attending physician in Nelson to maneuver over just to get Mr. Morritt to Trail for a surgical consultation, CT scan and be admitted to Trail’s ICU.
Prior to the cuts in 2002, there is reason to believe the outcome would have been different, as there were three surgeons available 24/7 at Nelson. An immediate surgical consult would have occurred, confirming a ruptured spleen and treatment would have begun immediately. This would have spared Mr. Morritt the many hours involved in trying to get him to Trail for his surgical consult.
However, we do agree with Dr. Lawe that Mr. Dix should ask for an independent review of these supposed cases of compromised patient safety as I’m sure the findings will surprise Dr. Lawe himself. So good on you Mr. Dix for stating fact and not fiction! And so much for the Liberals’ promise for “health care when you need it, where you need it!”
Sue Heaton on behalf of Edward Morritt’s Family